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Help ..newbie As Raw As Cane Sugar

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hellbent

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I know some of yu guys and gals will laff at this but what the hell is meant by "steeping"?.... also I read where beer can be transferred to another fermenter, does this have any effect on the beer and when should it be done... Im brewing my first bach a kit lager with a #15 dextrose... also it often says freshly cracked wheat or barley...how does one go about acheving this (cracking wheat etc).... also something about a bag of something or other and a cup of boiling water but I will be back later on that one when I have my next lot of questions.....sorry to be so naive here but in a few years time someone else like myself will come in asking questions like I am, and I would like to be the first to try and help remembering my early brewin years:)
cheers fellas
:chug:
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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The best way for a kit brewer to improve his beers are to steep some specialty grains, replace dextrose with malt, boil some hops in his wort and get decent yeast.

Steeping. typically crystal malt for pale beers, chocolate and black malts and roast barleys for dark ales. A HBS can (if they are any good) supply you with specialty malts and crush them for you. Mix these with 3 times their weight in water, mix well, bring to 60C and let the grain/water mixture infuse for 20 mins. If the grains are really dark I would mix them with COLD water and let them steep overnight. I still do this with roast barley and the like, to prevent astringency in the beer.

Dextrose. Kit and kilo is the bane of the hobby in Oz. Some brewshops make up kilo bags of sucrose dextrose & dried corn syrup (some then dress that up with some extract and grains) Sugar adds no flavor or body etc. It is crap. Beer is made from MALT: kit brewers can buy dried and liquid malt extract. Those who like drier beers can keep some proportion of sugar.

Hops. Because we are now adding malt the hops in the can kit get a bit drowned out. To bring the malt and hops back into balance, and to add hop flavors and aromas we add hops to vigorously boiling wort.

Yeast. Even the best kits provide the brewers with way inadequate amounts of yeast, and often the quality of the yeast is lacking. Being stored under the lid of the kit it can't be refridgerated and so may have lost a lot of its vitality. Danstar and DCL yeasts, and later liquid yeasts, make a huge positive difference to the flavor of the beer and ensure a good strong complete ferment that leaves microbes no chance to spoil the beer.


Jovial Monk
 

PostModern

Iron Wolf Brewery
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Hellbent - I'll add some info about racking.
Also, the button that says "!Report" is used to report an offensive, misplaced or otherwise undesirable post to administrators so the post can be edited or removed. :)

Click here then follow the links to "Racking" and "Bulk Priming". You'll need to buy a second fermenter or a bottling bucket. Well worth the investment. Once you've taken care of the recipe using the things Jovial Monk has listed above, taking care of the wort, beer and yeast after pitching is the next step... btw, when you steep, make sure you strain the grains out of the water and just use the water :)

Have no fear, read the excellent resources on the web and enjoy the hobby!
 
J

Jovial_Monk

Guest
heheh one step at a time, it is easy to overload newbies with information.

But, yes, once you are producing some tasty beers there are steps to make them even better, like using better yeasts, racking and cold conditioning. Don't worry about it for now, but start looking for a seconhand fridge for use as a brewfridge in the shed. You may even see a fridge or two waiting to be hauled away during hard rubbish collection.

Jovial Monk
 

Hoops

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hellbent

just a tip but when changing things, mainly when adding new ingredients don't go and try heaps of things at once as it will confuse you as to how each ingredient influences the beer's flavour.
When I first started out I joined a club and learned heaps from others. I tried a few things and the beer tasted heaps better. For starters I would get a second fermenter to "rack" your beer into and get a good "neutral yeast". I use SAFALE for my ales.
However I think by far the most valuable piece of equipment in my home brewery would have to be the temperature controlled fermenting fridge so that temperature can be kept constant, especially in summer, and cold for lagers.
No need to rush into all these things at once, just try something different each time and try to improve slowly as you go.

Hoops
 

hellbent

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<_< so much to learn so many things but will get there... I have a grog fridge in my shed (who hasnt?) but not sure how it can keep a temp at about 18 - 25???
thanx for the replies fellas Its all getting clearer now but for the moment I will stick with the good kits and buy in some good yeast, mixed with malt and hops ....oh and another fermenter.....
 
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